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India ranks 131 in 2016 Human Development Index

India was ranked 131 in the 2016 Human Development Index (HDI) among the 188 countries.  India scored 0.624 and was placed in medium human development category.

The index was unveiled recently as part of the Human Development Report (HDR) 2016 titled Human Development for Everyone published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). 

Key Highlights of 2016 HDR
  • Top three countries: Norway (0.949 score), Australia (0.939) and Switzerland (0.939).
  • SAARC countries: Sri Lanka (73) and Maldives (105) were placed in “high human development” category, followed by India (131), Bhutan (132), Bangladesh (139), Nepal (144), Pakistan (147) and Afghanistan (169).
  • BRICS Countries: India ranks lowest among BRICS nations. Russia (49), Brazil (79), China (90), South Africa (119) and India (131).
  • India related facts: India’s HDI value increased from 0.428 in 1990 to 0.624 in 2015. However, its average annual growth in HDI (1990-2015) was higher than that of other medium HDI countries.
  • In 2015 HDI, India ranked 130 with score of 0.609 and was placed in the medium human development category.
  • Life expectancy at birth: In India, it has increased from 68 years to an average of 68.3 years — 69.9 years for women and 66.9 years for men.
  • Access to knowledge: India’s expected years of schooling remains at 11.7 years, while mean years of schooling increased from 5.4 to 6.3 years.
  • India’s Gross National Income (GNI) based on per capita purchasing power parity (PPP): It has risen from $5,497 to $5,663.
  • Gender Inequality Index (GII): India ranked 125 among 159 countries. Only 12.2% of Parliament seats are held by women.
  • 8% of women above the age of 15 years are part of India’s labour force — compared to 79.1% men. The ratio of maternal mortality is 174 against every 100,000 live births.
  • Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index (IHDI): It is difference between the HDI and IHDI, expressed as a percentage of the HDI, indicating the loss in human development due to inequality.
  • India’s HDI was pegged at 0.624, but its value falls 27.2% after being adjusted for inequalities, resulting in a HDI value of 0.455.
  • Life expectancy adjusted with inequalities between 2010 and 2015 fell 24%, resulting in a value of 0.565.
  • The percentage of inequality in education in 2015 was 39.4% or 0.324 and inequality in income 16.1% or 0.512. 

About HDI

The HDI is a measure for assessing countries progress in three basic dimensions of human development: a long and healthy life (life expectancy), access to knowledge and access to a decent standard of living. Countries are ranked based on scale ranging between 0 (low) to 1 (high).

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India ranks 122 in 2017 World Happiness Report

India ranked at 122 out of 155 countries in the World Happiness Report 2017 published by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network on the eve of International Day of Happiness (20 March).

The rankings are based factors such as  inequality, life expectancy, GDP per capita, public trust (i.e. a lack of corruption in government and business), and social support. Together they are used to generate a happiness score of country on a scale from 1 to 10.This year it is fifth such report since the first was published in 2012.

Key Highlights of report
  • 10 Happiest Countries: Norway (1), Denmark (2), Iceland (3), Switzerland (4), Finland (5), Netherlands (6), Canada (7), New Zealand (8), Australia (9) and Sweden (10).
  • 5 Saddest Countries: Rwanda (151), Syria (152), Tanzania (153), Burundi (154) and Central African Republic (155).
  • The entire top ten were wealthier developed nations. But the report mentioned that money is not the only ingredient in the recipe for happiness. Countries in sub-Saharan Africa and those hit by conflict were ranked lower.
  • India was placed behind the majority of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) nations, apart from war-ravaged Afghanistan (141). In the previous edition of the report, India ranked 118.
  • Eight SAARC nations: Pakistan (80), Nepal (99), Bhutan (97), Bangladesh (110) and Sri Lanka (120). Maldives did not figure in the report.
  • BRICS Countries: Brazil (17), Russia (56), China (79), South Africa (116) and India (122).

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SAARC programming committee meeting held in Kathmandu

The two-day meeting of SAARC Programming Committee was held in Kathmandu, capital of Nepal. All eight members participated in the meeting.

This was the first senior level meeting of Association since postponement of 19th SAARC Summit in November 2016 after four nations Afghanistan, Bhutan, Bangladesh and India had requested for it following escalation of tension between India and Pakistan over the issue of terrorism.

Key Facts
  • The Programming Committee is the lowest level mechanism in SAARC after the SAARC Standing Committee, which is held at the foreign secretary level, and SAARC Council of Ministers held at foreign minister level.
  • This meeting was originally scheduled ahead of the November 2016 Islamabad SAARC summit which could not be convened following its postponement.
  • In Kathmandu meeting, the committee had discussed various administrative and financial issues related to SAARC Secretariat and its bodies.
  • It also had discussed issues related to budget of the SAARC Secretariat and five regional centres of SAARC, among others.

About the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

  • SAARC is regional intergovernmental organization and geopolitical union in South Asia. It promotes development of economical and regional integration.
  • As of 2015, SAARC member countries compromise of 3% of the world’s area, 21% of the world’s population and 9.12% of the global economy.
  • SAARC Secretariat: Kathmandu (Nepal)
  • Member Countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan (joined in 2007).
  • Nine observer states: Australia, China, European Union, Japan, Iran, Mauritius, Myanmar, South Korea, and United States.
  • Formation History: The idea for the SAARC was proposed by Ziaur Rahman, the then President of Bangladesh on May 2, 1980.
  • The seven founding countries had met for first time in April 1981 and then in 1985, they created SAARC Charter. The first SAARC summit was held in Dhaka (Bangladesh) in December 1985.

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